How to Help a Floundering Member

Is your group member or student struggling in your program? Are they falling short to the point that they’re dropping out?

Unfortunately, you will run into these problems during the course of a extended program, whether it’s a mastermind group, educational program, or mentoring program.

Any program designed to help people make changes in their personal or professional lives has the same challenge: change and growth is hard. It’s likely that your group members will hit a brick wall at some point during the time you’re working together.

The good news is that you can be on the lookout for the signs and symptoms, and nip the problem in the bud!

Signs and Symptoms of a Struggling Group Member:


  • No accountability or goal reporting
  • Changing goals frequently
  • Not making progress towards set goals

Planning and Implementation:

  • Working on other tasks that will not produce results or are not geared toward goals
  • Doing the right thing at the wrong time; doesn’t understand how to prioritize tasks and/or projects
  • They say they have no money to implement the plan. (It’s a dead giveaway when they say they have no money, but take expensive vacations all over the world.)

Group Participation

  • Not engaging with the group or with you as the coach/facilitator/trainer
  • Says they got what they needed from the group and now wants out before the end of the program


  • In arrears with their program payments
  • Not showing up for meetings or classes
  • Not participating in online message forums or group projects
  • Not doing their homework
  • Not responding to emails or phone calls


  • Blaming forces outside themselves for all delays, failures, etc. Not taking responsibility for where they have fallen short.
  • Self-imploding and having a lot of drama around the change they’re trying to create
  • Resisting the change: procrastinating and self-sabotaging the work they need to do

While this list may seem daunting, even overwhelming, there is a silver lining. There are steps you can take to help your group member get back on track and be successful.

To Help Them:

  • Set boundaries by reminding them that this is a commitment, and that they agreed to complete the full program. Remember, they want to get out of the discomfort that change brings, and the easiest way is to get out of your program.
  • Remind them that it’s common to struggle with change, and that it’s a phase many people go through.
  • Let them know it’s helpful to let others know when they’re struggling. That’s what the group is for.
  • Get them to focus on 90 days at a time. Instead of huge goals that feel overwhelming, what are smaller benchmarks and tasks that can be completed in the next 90 days?
  • Work within “growth rings” strategy. No one grows in a huge leap. Instead, we grow like a tree grows, one success layered upon another success until we’re at our peak.
  • Ask them to agree to weekly, bi-weekly or monthly check-ins can help keep them accountable and focused. Set pre-determined dates for when these check-ins will occur. Don’t be afraid to hold their feet to the fire; don’t allow them to postpone check-ins.
  • Help them to focus on what’s important. Some people simply aren’t good at weeding through a big To Do list to determine what to work on next. Help them unravel their To Do list and keep focused on what’s most important without getting distracted or sidetracked.
  • Take good notes during meetings so you can keep track of their progress and situation.
  • Pay attention to attendance and participation levels in group meetings. Watch for any signs that they are backsliding.

Change your group member’s course from struggling to successful by paying attention and taking charge of the situation. Remember, their success is your success.

Staying Connected Between Mastermind Meetings

As I discussed in my blog post, 10 Reasons Why Mastermind Groups Fail, one of the failure points is communication between meetings.

In my mastermind groups, we have an online message forum. And, wow, does that message forum get busy! It’s a great place to expand upon ideas, to deeply share thoughts, and to talk about other challenges or decisions that come up between meetings.

There are many places online to create a private message forum for your members:

In addition to message forums, consider having check-in phone calls between meetings. These are short teleconferences where people talk about the actions they’ve taken since the last meeting. This is also the place to share what successes you’ve had and how close you are to your stated goal. You can do this via any of the free teleconference services available, or even Skype or Google+ Hangouts.

Mastermind Group Facilitator Training begins September 22

Course Overview

This class is for people who are ready to take their mastermind group facilitation skills to a whole new level. It’s perfect for people who already have a mastermind group formed, or are starting a new one!

Learn the expert facilitator’s art of being the guide on the side, not the sage on the stage.

Class starts September (…but there are only a few seats left!)

You Will Learn

In this 9-week teleseminar series, you will learn about:

  • Your role and responsibilities as a mastermind group facilitator
  • How group dynamics impact your group
  • Group Facilitation skills for mastermind group facilitators
  • Creating meeting agendas
  • Handling the Hot Seat
  • Creating and using a Mastermind Group Facilitator’s Journal
  • Creating a Mastermind Member Journal to use with your members
  • Using the six Mastermind Process Techniques
  • Creating trust in your group
  • Conducting your first meeting with a new group
  • Helping members make decisions and choose a course of action
  • Enforcing group guidelines
  • Handling problem members
  • Tracking group member progress
  • Creating and using Prep Forms, Mastermind Matrix and Group Feedback Form
  • Closing your meetings
  • PLUS: Get live, hands-on practice with your mastermind facilitation skills!

FOUR Great Bonuses

Bonus #1: A student guide in PDF format, chock full of advice and checklists, plus forms and worksheets for you to use as a Facilitator and to give to your members.

Bonus #2: Six streaming internet videos of a real mastermind group, so you can watch and learn from Karyn as she facilitates a mastermind group!

Bonus #3: A great way to get new members for your mastermind group! Once you register for the teleclass, you may list your mastermind group for free at The Success Alliance website, which receive 23,000 visitors annually looking for mastermind groups. You will receive an email with instructions on how to list your mastermind group once you register.

Bonus #4: You’ll get access to my private Student Website, where you’ll get more resources, and an online message forum where you can stay in touch with the other class participants during the 9 weeks of class. Access starts the day class begins.


What Students Say…

The class was excellent and filled with fantastic information. I am confident the class provided me with the foundation I need to launch my first Mastermind group.

The templates, instruction and rich conversation provided an excellent opportunity to learn and think outside of the box.

—Karen Senteio

Length of Workshop

The teleseminar series begins September 22. We meet one hour each week, for 9 weekly sessions.

All class sessions are 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM eastern.

For more details, and to register:

What Students Say…

Karyn’s Mastermind Group Facilitator Training was truly superb. She has the unusual ability to present rich detail which will be invaluable to me in leading Mastermind groups, while not overwhelming us with details, and keeping the big picture clear and focused. The most effective teleseminar I have ever taken!

—Paul Severance
Center for the New Elder

Mastermind Group Academy

For more details, and to register:

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